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Portsmouth has been named the most affordable city for students

Portsmouth has been named the most affordable city for students

  • Portsmouth tops the NatWest Student Living Index as the most cost effective city, closely followed by Liverpool and Newcastle.
  • Edinburgh is the most expensive city to study in
  • Student loans contribute four times as much as any other source to a student’s income
  • Only 1 in 50 consider student fees when deciding where to study
Portsmouth is the most affordable city in the UK for students, closely followed by Liverpool and Newcastle. Students in all three cities have the highest term-time income helping to make them some of the most cost efficient places to study in the UK.
The NatWest Student Living Index surveyed 2,500 students across the UK to determine the most affordable place to study. The survey takes into account a range of factors, from how much students spend on going out to how much time they spend studying. 
Portsmouth students pay slightly more rent than the UK average but are topping up their term-time income by working around 25% more hours in part-time jobs. However they still have time to socialise, coming in at number three as the most sociable place to study.
Edinburgh was found to be the most expensive city for studying with above average rent costs playing a major factor, combined with significantly lower than average term-time income. Despite this Edinburgh students spend the most on going out and above the weekly average on alcohol.
The majority of a student’s income comes from student loans, which on average are £161.14 per week, four times higher than any other source, including part time work. After loans, money from the bank of mum and dad is the largest income source.
NatWest SurveyFor students in England and Wales fees are higher than ever, however only 1 in 50 take fees into consideration when deciding which university to attend. Other concerns such as subject choice, university reputation, distance from home and the cost of living were more important for 98% of prospective students.
Managing money is less stressful than actually studying for a degree. The research found over half of students find managing their finances stressful with less than 4 in 10 having a dedicated budget. Whereas around 8 in 10 students find studying for their degree stressful.
Traveling home costs students around £300 a year. The NatWest Student Account comes with a four year National Express Coachcard which offers a third off travel which could potentially save £100 each year.
Dan Jones, NatWest's Head of Student Accounts said, “Making the most of University can be expensive and there is a massive difference in the costs students face depending on where they choose to study. The NatWest student account goes some way to help students budget throughout the year, offering one of the best overdrafts and an award winning mobile app.”
For more information on the NatWest Student Living Index and the NatWest Student account visit

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